W for Wisdom and Willingness

Neil ButlerUntypical Thoughts

Who provides the wisdom within your business?

I think that there are many organisations that feel that unless the wisdom is coming from the top of the organisation, it can’t really be considered wisdom.

But there is wisdom throughout the organisation. People who have come from other organisations. People who have thought creatively and innovatively. People who have probably wanted to say things in the past but haven’t had the opportunity.

Seek out the wisdom of those people. Encourage them to make suggestions. Give them permission to bring their ideas to the table.

Now, you might be thinking “but we’ve always given our people the chance to give us suggestions, submit ideas and provide feedback”. Yes, but have you? If you are a younger person lost in the middle to lower layers of the organisational diagram, are you going to speak up? At a time like this when organisations are restructuring, are they really going to feel comfortable questioning existing processes and policies?

Maybe they will. More likely they won’t. And if they won’t, that is a pile of wisdom you’ve missed out on.

And finally, we make it to number 50 – willingness.

Everything that I have spoken about during the past few weeks requires a high degree of willingness to accept that transformation is necessary for so many businesses. As a result, an equal level of willingness is required from the people within those businesses to work together towards that transformed business model.

As I discussed a few days ago, there is an inertial state that many organisations find themselves in – a state where it is just too hard to take the steps towards transformation. To overcome that inertia, everyone needs to be clearly focused on the same direction and the same outcomes.

That doesn’t mean that the CEO or senior management team needs to make a decree and assume that everyone will fall into line. It means working with people across the organisation to develop a shared vision and then encouraging a willingness by everyone to embrace it.

Without that level of willingness, there will be a huge amount of energy expended and very little will change.

What are you doing within your organisation to ensure that willingness?

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